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Accident Description


AlabamaWhitewater.com The Alabama Whitewater Paddlers Forum

boat pinned at roadblock.

Oh yes. it was bad. very bad indeed. so a bunch of us did upper 2 and chair. several new boaters to the LRC. we got to roadblock steve and i looked at running the sneak but it didnt have enough water (hindsight is 20/20). steve(C1) decided to run the sneak while mike and i ran the main line. he came down bow first .hit the pillow and flipped immediately. there was not enough room for him to roll and he pinned under 2 undercuts (bow under one undercut, the stern under another) and on the front of another rock. pinned at 3 points. it was amazing how badly it was jammed in.

Nothing worked against the tremendous force of the flow. the current is slamming into the hull. the cockpit is downstream. it is 1 foot deep at its highest point and 4 feet down at its lowest. we left the ropes on it - tied very high in a tree and will cause NO problems for others at the rapid- because it was too hard to get the rope on there once. harder still to have to do it again thursday. so we are going to extract it thursday or possibly wednesday. the water has to drop alot before we can try again. z drag did not work .

Now about steve r. - he is ok but all us chicks cried afterwards. he was stuck in that boat trapped like that upside downfor 3 -4 minutes breathing from a space no bigger than a softball. drinking lots of water. if he had been a butt boater he would not have made it. Being on his knees allowed him to keep his lips on top of the surface. His body was between the boat and the rock its cockpit is resting on. His body finally broke free and flushed through. he hadda go under with a huge breath for the attempt and yelling ensued.

Once he went down it was THE last ditch effort. He hadda try. He looked at me and said "i cant do this anymore" (ie--I cant hold on any longer), then he took the breath and vanished. 2 secs later his body flushed through. he briefly got a leg entraped. then to the bank. he hiked out and left the boat. after that. most people took off the river. too freaked to continue on. it was a day _

Last edited by Anne on Mon Jan 14, 200

Reply with quote Roadblock has already taken a 'Bama boy....don't need another... the entrance, the flip and what steve was stuck in. He was in the boat when it was down like that in the 3rd shot but the picture is taken after he got out. After the second picture i dropped the camera and we each took position next to him. we were right there, he was so close we could just about touch him. the dark spot you see is not the cockpit, it's a rock.

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:51 am Thanks for everyone's support I'm glad Steve had such a good group to paddle with Sunday. As many of you know, Steve always carries about as much weight in rescue equipment as the weight of his boat...but, that equipment is for others. I am so glad that the other paddlers in the group had rescue equipment and rescue knowledge also, because that was for Steve.

Thanks, Anne, for being right there, with ropes, eye-to-eye with Steve the whole time. I know for a fact how comforting that can be. Thanks to Michael Smith for leaping around on the boulders, getting into place with ropes, for your strong arms in the extraction effort, etc. Thanks, Renee for walking out with Steve; even though ya'll hauled a boat up too, much better for him not to have to hike out alone, and thanks for everyone there for their support in asssisting Steve. I don't know how I could have handled it, if I had been there. I'm afraid I would have been a mess. Still pretty rough for both of us. Thanks again. I am SO glad our paddling community is so tightly connected and concerned about each other.

Sue